Casting Directors, Managers, and Agents are all meeting more talent in today's technologically advanced market than they ever have before! Not too long ago, a meeting with an agent would have been the event of a lifetime. But just because industry professionals meet more talent, doesn't mean they book or work with more actors or models! In fact, the competition is more fierce!
How do you make the most out of meeting the industry through the various ways that exist today? Keep in mind, those same industry professionals are on the "circuit," attending showcases, workshops, and other scouting outlets. One recent Saturday I ran into a casting director on the street. She was running from one meet-and-greet to the next. She was bragging she had four meet-and-greets back-to-back. How many actors do you think she'll remember come sundown? And that doesn't take into consideration all those talent conventions with their thousands of hopefuls looking to be discovered. The human brain was never designed to remember an infinite number of faces.
How do you not get lost in the clutterd crowd?
Do not make the fatal assumption that just because they met you once, they are going to remember you. Within 24 hours of meeting someone, send them a picture post card to say thanks, reminding them where the two of you met. Don't have a picture post card of you? Get them! They become every bit as useful as your headshots.
Thereafter until your last breathe as a booking talent, send them a monthly picture post card bulleting what you have done to be pro-active in your career. For example, list your "Activity for the month of October:" Start with bookings (keep in mind not everyone has bookings every month and that's OK) and be specific. Then drop down to callbacks, then auditions; then classes or forums; then other things you have done like getting new headshots, slimmed down, joined the unions, etc. This is a name-conscious business so don't leave out your agent, the director, the product, your role, or anything else that would add validity and increase your standing with the industry.
Make it a plan to see them more than once. It's been reported back to us that an agent may see somebody at a Forum and express a mild interest. Then see them again a month later at a showcase. [Hmmmm, seeing them again.] Finally, at another event or class - and it clicks. Like looking at a magazine ad: first time you see an ad, you look at it briefly and turn the page. The second time you see the ad, you pay more attention to it. The third time, you buy what the ad is selling. As humans, you and I are the same way -- it's the number of impressions that made the difference!
Keep in mind that there really is work for everyone. Anyone can be very discouraging and unresponsive to your overtures today, but practice the show business mantra: "No" means "not now." Tomorrow or six months from now their world can be very different. You may have to wait things out. It could be that someone has a long standing relationship with a certain client, and naturally therefore, an edge over you. But sooner or later that talent will move, already be booked, or have a vacation planned when you pop on the scene. Now's your chance! Or suddenly your type becomes very popular, sometimes in response to a hit movie or TV show and they need more of your types. All of a sudden you can be getting a call!
Never let them forget about you! And in doing so, you'll maximize your investment of time and money and your career will show the results!